If you were involved in a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation for the injuries and other damages you face. In many cases, insurance steps in to cover the damages, but filing an insurance claim might not be the best way to get the damages you need after a car wreck.
The Baltimore car wreck lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras represent injured car accident victims and their families in fights to get the compensation they need. These damages often cover the cost of car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, but getting the full value you are entitled to may be difficult. Call our attorneys today at (410) 694-7291 to discuss getting help in fighting for compensation after a Baltimore car wreck.
Damages in a Car Wreck
If you are involved in a car accident, the damages and harms you face could vary drastically. In the majority of car wrecks, there is vehicle damage only, i.e., no one is injured. In these cases, the damages can often be paid through a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which might cover the full value of the repairs. However, in cases where you face physical injuries, there may be damages that insurance is unwilling to cover.
In most cases, you can claim damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering for injuries. However, insurance companies typically cover only the first two through their policies. This means that injury victims are often left hanging with regard to the physical pain and mental and emotional anguish that they face after an accident. In cases of serious or permanent injuries, the damages for pain and suffering can be substantial, and it can be extremely difficult for victims to move on with their lives. In these cases especially, filing your claim in court may be necessary to unlock all of the damages you are entitled to claim.
Damages for medical expenses and lost wages can cover any costs that stem from the at-fault driver’s negligence. For medical expenses, this means getting coverage not only for emergency care and follow-up appointments, but also crutches, wheelchairs, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and mental health counseling, among other care costs. For lost wage damages, you can claim compensation for the wages you missed during your recovery, but you can also claim damages you will face going forward if you have a permanent disability or will miss additional work after the lawsuit.
Damages for pain and suffering and other non-economic effects can be claimed even though there is usually no paperwork to define how much these damages are worth. Instead, your testimony can help inform the jury about how the injury affected your life, and you can claim higher damages for greater harm.
Suing for a Car Wreck in Baltimore, MD
Maryland is a “fault” state for car insurance. This means that your insurance policy usually entitles you to file a lawsuit instead of making a claim through insurance, if you so choose. Other states have no-fault insurance rules which block you from suing unless you meet certain criteria with the accident. For out-of-state drivers injured while traveling or commuting through Baltimore, this can be an important factor to take into account when deciding whether or not to sue.
If you do sue for injuries, you can open the case to additional damages that you would not be able to get in an insurance claim, such as damages for pain and suffering. However, to win your case, you must prove that the at-fault driver was “negligent” by meeting certain standards.
A “negligence” lawsuit is based on the claim that the person who injured you was not using the proper care or skill at the time of the accident. More specifically, you would claim that they violated a legal duty that they owed you through the lack of care or skill. In car wreck cases, this often means pointing to traffic violations like speeding or running a red light, or it means looking to patently unsafe driving issues like falling asleep behind the wheel or driving aggressively.
In addition, you must prove that the at-fault driver’s breach of duty actually caused your injuries. If you would have crashed anyway or the driver’s negligence was actually unrelated to your crash, then you cannot sue. You must also prove that you suffered actual damages the court can compensate; if you did not suffer any quantifiable harm, there is nothing worth suing over.
To win your case, you will need to prove these elements to a jury “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This is essentially a “more likely than not” standard, meaning you only need to beat the defendant by a little bit to win your case.
As mentioned, you need to prove your case to a jury to win the claim, not a judge. A jury is ultimately responsible for deciding who was at fault. the judge, instead, answers legal questions in the case and decides matters of law, but the jury is the group that decides whether the other driver was at-fault based on the evidence you provided. They also ultimately decide how much money to award you based on the damages and amounts that you claim.
Call Our Baltimore Car Wreck Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation
If you were in a car accident, you may have serious damages and bills to cover. While a car insurance claim may be able to cover your vehicle damage to some extent, you should always consult with a lawyer about damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Baltimore car wreck lawyers today for a free legal consultation and to learn more about filing a lawsuit for a car wreck. Our phone number is (410) 694-7291.